Is There Going to Be a New Blair Witch Project?
by Jamie Frevele | 12:55 pm, September 18th, 2011
The producers of the original Blair Witch Project would like you to remember the no-frills original movie that was released in 1999 and became a gigantic hit after some truly experimental (for the time) Internet marketing and kindly forget the nearly unrelated sequel (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2) that ended up a huge flop. In order to achieve this, they are considering another Blair Witch sequel that will be more related to the original that we all liked so much and even include the original actors. That’s weird, because I think they were supposed to have been lost forever in those woods? Okay, you have our attention.
Eduardo Sanchez, director of the original movie, has been talking about another Blair Witch movie since 2009, but now it looks like it’s just a matter of timing and what kind of mood Lionsgate is in.
It’s completely up to Lionsgate. [Co-director Dan Myrick] and I are ready to do it. We’ve been toying around with a sequel idea that we really like. It’s just a matter of getting our schedules in line and having Lionsgate sign off on the idea. We’ve been ready to do a ‘Blair Witch’ movie for a long time. We’re as close as we’ve ever been to making it happen but it’s still not a guaranteed thing.
Well, that’s good to know! He also mentioned that he is interested in bringing back the three original actors — Heather Donahue, Josh Leonard, and Michael C. Williams — though not as the main characters. But that sounds like a story that would tie up the loose ends from the first movie, like why was Mike just kinda staring at the wall, was he floating above the ground, what happened to Josh, did Heather escape, etc.
But here’s why it might be fun to have a new Blair Witch Project — much in the way the new Scream movie took advantage of the changes in technology and media, BWP could do the same. The “found footage” element was a really effective tool (if you were not prone to motion sickness) in the days of VHS and an Internet that wasn’t nearly as ubiquitous as it is now. What if there was a live-streaming element, or camera phone footage, or if they went back to basics and whatever haunted energy exists in the woods cuts off any communication and they’re back to square one? Maybe that could be some sort of statement on how technology has formed this sort of umbilical cord that tethers people to others and makes them dependent, and when that’s gone, the characters find themselves completely alone?
I say it might be time for another Blair Witch Project. There is a whole mythology that can be delved into, and with different technology, this could be a really interesting movie. Will they be able to build the same mystery online? Not these days. Not when the Blair Witch probably has her own Twitter account.
(Okay, just checked, and she does not. But the name “Elly Kedward,” the name of the Blair Witch in the story, is taken by two actual non-fictional human persons, so the studio marketing team would have to buy the name from them … See how much the mysterious Internet campaign really can’t happen now?)
The biggest question for the BWP producers, writers, and directors would be how to convince an audience to believe something when they’ve seen everything on the Internet already and nothing surprises them anymore? If they can’t replicate that same amazing buzz they’d built 12 years ago, when some actually thought they’d been viewing a third-generation video of found footage, would it still be The Blair Witch Project?
(via Geek Tyrant)